Phonar session three

original post

Seminar: New Media New Journalism : visual journalist vs photographer
Stephen Mayes , Fred Ritchin and Jonathan Worth in conversation for the open and online class Phonar.

Guest Feature: Stephen Mayes on the Tim Hetherington.

Technical Workshop : Audio for narration and post-production – the following link is to Dave Clark‘s excellent technical resource “MultiMediaTrain”
From the Archive : Catching up with Documentary Film-maker Adam Hopkins.

Task: ‘Spoken narrative
Preparation for next session: Listen to Nursery nurse Lisa Potts’ recounting a machete  attack on the children under her care in 1996.

selection of my tweets:


excerpt from my critical response on the lecture:
(rest will be published soon on this blog)

The photographer of the 21st century ceases to be a supplier and becomes, what Fred Ritchin calls, a meta-photographer. The later is not just responding to an event but participates, even alters the course of events by being present. With the advance of digital imaging, photo manipulation became common practice and photography lost it’s ability to tell the truth. Technology though has allowed an individual to make use of multimedia for disseminating information. The use of audio, video, image, GPS and the ability to tell a story in real-time using online platforms, shape one as a credible witness. The same technology allowed one to record an event, while become the editor and publisher of its own material.


350MC // Jon Levy // Photojournalism

Just got back to class in the morning. This is going to be my final year at @CU_Photography. As I mentioned Jon Levy joined us today.

Jon presented a retrospective of foto8 and his work so far. After this talk he asked us to put together photographs we would want to have taken or draw inspiration from, a fantasy portfolio. It looks like this term is going to be great. Also this module will have the input of Jonathan Worth (@Jonathan_Worth), Shaun Hides (@shaunhides) and Jonathan Shaw (@time_motion).

In this course we have the choice of doing a dissertation, the classic academic research based project, or just a symposium as they use to call it. In the symposium you pick a subject, do research and present in public, which usually is classmates, staff, students and people who are interested. On the last term, we develop the “exit module” which is usually an exhibition but not only. It is the module where ideas and concepts are realised. Obviously we don’t have to stick our work on a wall to fit the criteria. For this year’s symposium we are thinking instead of presenting in front of an audience to go on air! So keep close, because our show could be broadcasted through the web!

A few things discussed in class with Jon.

Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace, (1996)
Uncertain Paths to Peace was an interactive multimedia photojournalism project designed from photojournalist Gilles Peress and Fred Ritchin for the New York Times (here). The content on the NYT website is unavailable, but a full archived version of it lives at PixelPress. This project offered more than documents, essays and photographs. It demonstrated the use of new media in order to help understand and perhaps resolve the conflict in Bosnia. I categorize it as a pluralistic platform. Pluralistic because it opened a forum for international dialogue, “led by scholars, diplomats, artists, humanitarian leaders and other experts” and of course the entire Internet community of the time. Platform because it hosted a variety of important elements. One of them being the forums, a second the interactive photo essays and a third, resources and references that helped the user/reader to gain greater understanding.

Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace - pixelpress

[other sources: pixelpress.orgNorm Green, contributor]

The Zone – Perama, Greece, (2012)
The Zone is a photographic project by Christos Sarris, based in Perama, a neighborhood of greater Athens. The photo project lives at and the short film along with Christos’ essay at Christos Sarris produced a series of photographs and a short film documenting the people’s struggle to live after the impact of the economic crisis in Greece. Perama is known for the shipyards. For long time unemployment stayed at relatively low levels because most of the community were working at them. Perama is considered one the poorest neighborhood of Athens. Christos approached the community while offering aid with Doctors of the World and he got to meet them well before he started this project.
I found myself in an unpleasant situation not knowing any of this. It is certainly not a surprise as I leave in Athens, but being abroad for 4 years,  kept me away of people’s struggles.

While doing some research I discovered a a very similar ongoing project, by photographer Eirini Vourloumis. The Decline of Perama Shipping Yards is a series of photographs which focuses on everyday life of the workers in the shipyards, unlike the community approach of Christos Sarris.
As Greece has been hit by crisis more institutions collapse every day, some of the being health/education system, transportation, or state and private owned businesses.

The Last Of The Billingsgate Fish Porters, (2012)
This is an audio/visual narrative from photographer Claudia Leisinger is about the Billingsgate fish porters whom their trading licenses were revoked by the City of London Corporation in January 2012. The Billingsgate fish market sits in a place where fish trading happens for more than three centuries. The porters are proud of their profession and in many cases it has past down to further generations, from father to son… Claudia’s stunning photographs of the porters and the working environment, captivated my attention, while their stories unfolded.  According to the porters, the desicion was taken, to get rid of the fishmarket which doesn’t really fit in City’s corporate environment, while the land costs a fair amount of money, especially with the 2012 Olympics in sight. I recently contacted Claudia and was informed that the project is not yet finished. The continuation of the narrative is coming out next year.

[ sources:]

#Picbod 1 | The Self Portrait

In the age of New Media a self-portrait is probably considered a very common theme to photograph. The majority of people using the internet have probably engaged with some kind of digital representation of their selves. A representation that is a creation of our imagination and the same time real.

The web is cluttering with profile pictures that look similar as if they adhere to certain rules. Angle, lighting, composition and most distinct; resolution. The amount of pixels is relatively low, as many used their mobile phone’s camera, that gives a noisy and under-saturated look. On top of that, every platform resizes and re-encodes the files uploaded and places them in equally shaped boxes, on the exact same location.

It seems that our digital representation lacks of creative freedom, full of constraints, thus making us look the same.
The questions I asked are, how can I represent myself and how can I do it differently.

The following is the first task of the online photography class #picbod along with my response.  You can find more information about the class or get involved at and in the Google+ community where it currently leaves.

Pre-visualize and produce a self portrait [using only available light*] unrestricted in theme and technique yet still supplying a message to the viewer. You should spend time first understanding what it is you wish to convey before then looking at the composition and mechanics of the image and finally production.

* While you are required to use only available light you can still shape and adjust this light as you see fit. Street lights, laptops, computers and televisions can all be employed.

self portrait, sitting in front of two computers, point of view above, picbod

This is me in front of my two computers, situated in the room I live in, where 95% of the time I spend looks like this. Since I came to England I evolved this awkward relation with the computer. In the beginning I was spending more time as I new less people than today.

After the first year I was having thoughts whether this was normal and if other people are like this. I realized that the source was not the machine but the network, plainly the World Wide Web.

After thinking on a personal level I elevated my thoughts in a global scale and since then it’s a great concern of mine. What is changing? How? Is it right or wrong? What are the disadvantages? We tend to see the advantages in new technologies and fail to see if everyone is keeping up.

Though, one thing I have answered is that we are going through a great change in terms of how people think and act; the human evolution. What affirms my answer is that every person born from now on will grow hooked up on the network, a way of living, distant to the psychical interaction we were once used to.